Cross-country truck platooning challenge begins in Europe
Scania has begunthe EU Truck Platooning Challenge 2016 today, with five others to follow shortly
The inaugural European cross-border truck platooning initiative is underway, with six truck manufacturers driving from three countries to the Netherlands in a display of the semi-autonomous technology.
Officially titled the EU Truck Platooning Challenge 2016, the technology display is an initiative from the EU ministry of infrastructure and the environment, and will see Volvo, Scania, MAN, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF trucks platooning from Sweden, Germany, and Belgium to the Port of Rotterdam.
Travelling along highways in platoon formation as the conditions allow, the challenge aims to highlight the need for the creation of convoy-driving corridors, increased cooperation between neighbouring countries, and legislative changes.
Scania’s powertrain development head Jonas Hofstedt says it "is an excellent opportunity for us to increase awareness in both Sweden and Europe of the major advantages provided by vehicle convoys in achieving safer and more efficient transport operations and in improving traffic flows."
"We also hope to increase understanding of the fact that common standards are required for the different support systems, and that joint European legislation is required in order to enable large-scale convoy driving," he says.
With all parties scheduled to arrive on April 6, the staggered starting times see Scania begin the drive.
Scania will travel 2,000km from Södertalje, south of Stockholm, through Denmark, Germany, and Belgium on its way to the Netherlands.
It will be followed by Volvo from Gothenburg, Sweden; Daimler and MAN, from Stuttgart and Munich, Germany; and Iveco and DAF, from Brussels and Westerlo, Belgium.
However, the unveiling of the Freightliner Autonomous vehicle in July last year and Volvo’s investment in Peloton Technology a few months earlier, are further examples of the direction companies are heading.